Al Hikmah Trust launched the New Muslim Project on September 15, 2012 at the ACG House (Queen Street) in Central Auckland.
The Trust aims to establish an organisation dedicated to the welfare of converts to Islam in New Zealand.
Leading up to this development, Sheikh Rafat Najm and Wellington convert Hamza Thomson visited various Mosques in North Island and met local converts (or reverts to the Muslim faith).
Sheikh Rafat is an Egyptian Muslim scholar who studied Islamic Studies at Al Azhar University in Cairo. He has a BA in Law and Islamic Law (LLB).
He came to New Zealand in 1997 and worked as an Imam of the Christchurch Mosque before moving to Auckland to attend the spiritual needs of Muslim youth and international students at AUT.
The delegation, which began in Wellington, included Canterbury Muslims Hashim Jones and Tariq Smith toured Hastings, Palmerston North, Taupo, Rotorua, Hamilton and Auckland.
The purpose of the road trip was to network and discuss pertinent issues facing ‘New Muslims. ‘
It was an excellent opportunity to share experiences and observations, and the meetings were very productive.
Thomson organised a questionnaire to determine what the precise needs, wants and aspirations of the converts are within the wider Islamic community.
The highlight of the trip was a visit to the residences of two humble and modest Maori kuia converts.